Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
CWU Libraries logo
Ask a Librarian chat image Ask the Libraries

Civic Engagement

What is civic enagement and how does it differ from other kinds of community service.

Federal Government

State and Local Officials

Ellensburg City Council

Kittitas County Commissioners

Washington State Legislature, Find Your Legislator

Governor Jay Inslee

Components of Letter to an Official

Before starting your letter, ask yourself the purpose of the letter.

  • Are you writing a letter of support or asking for help?
  • Are you asking this person to clarify their position?
  • Are you asking this person to state their position on certain issue(s) or reveal their voting record on a certain issue(s)?
  • Are you wishing to make this person aware of an issue that you have a specific view upon?
  • Do you wish to inform this official about an issue and provide background, history, a specific situation etc.?
  • Are you hoping to persuade this official to vote in a certain way or take a related action?
  • Do you wish to make yourself known or build your reputation as a thoughtful person in order to be able to be consulted or assist someone more influential later about an issue?
  • Are you requesting a meeting to discuss an issue or some matter of concern?
  • Are wanting to inform this person that you are critical of their actions?

Once you establish your purpose, determine whom else, if any, needs to be carbon-copied on the letter.  For example, if you are writing a Governor about Clean Air violations in your city, does the Department of Natural Resources Director need to be copied?  Or do you need to copy your State Legislator on the issue and your City’s Mayor?

After you have that sorted out, you are ready to write your letter!


Addressing Your Letter

Mailing a Letter

Letters to your representatives should usually be mailed to the representatives Washington/State House/Office address. While you can send physical mail to a representatives office, most will also provide an email form through their website or an email address.


To the U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable (Use full name)

US. House of Representatives

Dear Congressman or Congresswoman (Use last name)

Washington, DC 20515


To the U.S. Senate

The Honorable (Use full name)

US. Senate

Dear Senator (Use last name)

Washington, DC 20510


To Your Local Legislator(s)

State Representative

The Honorable (Use full name)

WA House of Representatives

Olympia, WA 98504


State Senator

The Honorable (Use full name)

WA State Senate

Olympia, WA 98504